Levuka, Fiji’s first capital, Fiji’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site
Levuka and Ovalau are off the main tourist track, it is a destination to experience the real Fiji.
Visiting Levuka is also a trip back in time, to a Fiji that remains untouched by mass tourism and commerce. It’s still the way Fiji used to be.
The town was Fiji’s first capital from 1874 until 1883. The rugged mountains surrounding it prevented economic growth and Suva was declared the new capital. Levuka froze in time. In 1989 it was designated a historic town and has been recognized UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2013.
Levuka is located on the eastern side of Ovalau, about 22 kilometers from the island’s airport, Bureta. It is a lush tropical volcanic island of about 100 square kilometers surrounded by large coral reefs. The island’s population is around 8000 of which nearly 25% reside in town. The vast majority are indigenous Fiji Islanders, with part-Europeans, Chinese, Indian, Rotuman, Solomon Islanders, Gilbertese, and many others representing the balance.
Ovalau is the main island of the Lomaiviti Group which is made up of the islands of Namena, Makogai, Koro, Wakaya, Batiki, Nairai, Gau and Ovalau. The islands are the peaks of deep-sea volcanoes that became extinct millions of years ago.